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period a sprinkle of black blood had mingled with and tainted the pure descent of the African Dutch :

"In Spain, you know, this is a sort of sin ;"

and not only in Spain, for here it is thought much worse of than some others, and blue eyes kindle into expression in their animadversions on their rivals.

Against the Masquerade, however, there was a very general feeling, not the less decided from its cause not being understood; perhaps the young girls who had good faces did not see the sense of hiding them; there were doubts whether they should accept the invitation, from an undefined fear that mischief would ensue,—a fear, however, that in the end prevented not a single fair one from appearing, though I believe it sent many away disappointed at the strict and stupid propriety of a night that had raised so much expectation. Let me not be misunderstood: I do not mean that on the whole they would have been better

pleased it had been otherwise; but when ladies are prepared to resist the slightest infringement on the most punctilious rules of conduct; when the look of insulted dignity has been practised at the glass, and the calm reproof that is to daunt the offender, tried in every tone from the mildly-impressive to the sarcastically-bitter, it requires more than female philosophy to find the flower of beauty wasted on the wilderness, no eye to admire, no hand to pluck it.

I have now discussed the Races, the Southeaster, the arrival of a Mail, and the Masquerade; and I will defy the most hackneyed Caper to name another thing that

"Breaks the tedium of fantastic idleness"

in the capital of Southern Africa; unless, indeed, he chance to be a politician, a Cape party-man ; for here, as in most places, the feeling is virulent in proportion to its insignificance: but fear not that I am going to inflict on you an account of our divisions, which serve no purpose that I can discover, save that of destroying the little

society that we have:-no: my description of the amusements may have been triste, but our politics would be even more trifling. I will spare you that " puddle in a storm."

LETTER II.

The Cape Flats.-Fransche-Hoek, a Settlement of French Huguenots.-Ravine.-Description of the Valley.-Interior of a Cape Wine Farm.-Its filthy state.-Cape Wines.-Method of killing the Tiger.-The Slave-Girl.-Conduct of Masters towards their Slaves.-The Hottentots. Curious Adventure.-Instinct of the Horse.-Early Recollections.

WHEN tired of all that I have described in my last letter, and unfit to be a trifler amid triflers; when I find "no music in the song, no smartness in the jest," I turn my horse's head from Cape Town, and, fixing my eye on a distant hill, move over the weary waste called the Cape Flats, mounting sand-hill after sand-hill, like the wild waves of a trackless ocean; while nothing meets the eye save the land tortoise, the large footprint of the wolf, or the trail of the serpent. For miles it is a scene of barren desolation; the bushes, which the birds flit

silently among, are withered with the heat; the very stones seem parched, through which the poison-snake winds its shining length. This sandy flat is bounded by a range of mountains, in whose valleys there are many beautiful spots; green, well-watered, sheltered nooks, in which the Dutch wine-farmers have settled and built good houses, that peep out from among their rich green oaks.

In one of these houses I have been lately staying, in the valley of the Fransche-Hoek, which is a settlement of French Hugonots situated about fifty miles from Cape Town. The inhabitants are now Dutch, however, in every thing but name; they speak no French, have no French customs, and not even a religious book in that language is to be found among them: the only distinction I could discover between them and other boors was their greater fondness for psalm-singing, and their aversion to dancing. That it is far easier to retrograde than advance is known; but that these people, settling as they did, remote from

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